He was the most powerful man in the world on the day of the worst terrorist attack in American history.
As I watched George W. Bush’s exclusive interview with National Geographic, it became clear that the former president was just a person like you or I on Sept. 11, 2001.
However, he had the tremendous responsibility of leading a nation of 300 million strong that day.
And that he did.
Bush displayed what is essential of any leader in a crises; he remained calm, made tough decisions, and vowed that America would deliver justice to the terrorists that committed the cowardly attacks.
“If the leader is not calm its likely many others will not be calm either,” Bush said.
A leader, by definition, is a guiding or directing head. A group’s confidence will shrink if their commander appears shaken or confused.
Sitting in a classroom of children and media members with cameras rolling, the President responded with extraordinary tranquility, and I have the upmost gratitude for that.
Politics aside, President Bush’s presidency could very well be defined with making tough decisions, which is something that must be done but isn’t easy on neither the heart nor mind.
He admits that it came with great distress to give the order to shoot down unresponsive planes, but he believes it was a necessity in a time of uncertainty.
He did what had to be done; knowing if his orders were carried out it was possible for innocent Americans to be killed. But it was his responsibility to stop any further attacks. Thankfully his order did not need to be followed through.
After a day of running for security issues, Bush demanded to be taken back to Washington. He needed to address the nation and he did not want the terrorists to have the satisfaction of seeing the U.S. President deliver a speech to the nation from a military base.
His voice was soft and it was confident,. The Texan asserted his tough demeanor in his speech from the oval office.
“America and our friends and allies join with all those who want peace and security in the world, and we stand together to win the war against terrorism,” he said.
His words should have filled the evil men who orchestrated the attack with fear, because, as America would soon prove, no matter how long it may take, we will find you.